Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body and the exact cause of the condition is unknown.

Although there’s currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.

Currently, patients suspected of having a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia are referred to the rheumatology department at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Due to the extra demand this is creating, this is having an impact on the waiting time to see a rheumatology consultant.

As part of the latest 100 day challenge we are looking to pilot a combined Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT). An MDT is a group of health care workers and social care professionals who are experts in different areas with different professional backgrounds. They come together as a team for the purposes of planning and implementing treatment programmes for complex medical conditions.

The MDT will support the roll out of an initial two week fibromyalgia education group for patients with a diagnosis and a further optional 6 week therapy group for those patients who require further support.  The course content involves chronic pain management, mindfulness, diet, exercise advice and additional resources. If required, patients could also access additional psychological support at the end of the course but normally they would be discharged with support in the community and self-help groups.

Many people with fibromyalgia find that support groups provide an important network where they can talk to others living with the condition.

If the pilot is successful the new approach will enable local GPs to directly refer to the MDT. It is hoped this will reduce pressure on the rheumatology department and ensure better care for patients.